Police seized a marsupial known as a “sugar glider,” an animal similar to a flying squirrel, from a Kaneohe home Monday afternoon, the latest in a series of illegal exotic animals either turned in or caught by Hawaii authorities in the last month.
The home’s occupants at first told officers that the animal did not exist. But after officers explained to them the state’s illegal animal amnesty program, they relented and surrendered the pet, said HPD Sgt. Kim Buffett, Honolulu Crimestoppers coordinator.
The animal was transferred to the state Department of Agriculture, where a worker was bitten while handling the squirrel.
Anyone with information about an illegal animal could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 and is urged to call Crimestoppers at 955-8300.
Sugar gliders have parachute-like membranes attached to their sides that, when stretched taut between wrist and ankle, allow them to glide. They differ from flying squirrels because they are from Australia and have a pouch, like kangaroos, to protect their babies.